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Presenter & Judging Guidelines

A view from above of the annual Student Research & Community Engagement Symposium. Open to all UMass Lowell undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, student research and community engagement projects are showcased as part of the judged poster presentation competition. Last year more than 200 posters representing nearly 30 departments were exhibited during the open poster session/reception.

Students Participating in the Oral Competition

Lightning Talk competition participants must be in attendance to present and discuss their poster during the scheduled competition time (the poster will be displayed as a PowerPoint slide during your presentation and the judges will have an opportunity to view the content of your poster before or after your presentation). A panel of two to four judges (e.g. UMass Lowell Alumni and Industry Leaders) will listen to your 90-second presentation, examine your poster slide, and ask any questions they may have. Each participant (or group of participants) will be evaluated based on the criteria described in the judging categories listed below.

This is an excellent opportunity to not only share the exciting research and community engagement activities that you have been working on, but a way for you to develop your oral presentation skills.

Each college will have a "Best Presentation" prize awarded depending on the number of submissions. Minimum of one award for each college, but could be more depending on total number of submissions per college.

Students Participating in the Poster Session

Students who are presenting during the Poster Session/Reception will not have a formal judging process. This session is not a competition, rather a more relaxed opportunity for students to present their research to symposium attendees - peers, faculty, guests, and industry leaders.

Poster presentation participants should be prepared to stand with their posters and interact with symposium attendees who stop to view and ask questions about your research or community engagement project. As stated in the poster guidelines, the student is responsible for bringing their own poster to the event and setting it up (see the event schedule webpage for set up times).

There will not be prizes awarded by college, but symposium attendees will be asked to vote on "fan favorites". The number of awards will depend on total number of students presenting at the reception.

Judging Criteria

The judging criteria were conceived in order to fairly evaluate Lightning Talk presenters and their poster. Each presenter, including those at an early stage in his/her project, is intended to have an equal opportunity to achieve the highest score in each category. The judging form is divided into the following categories:

  • Presenter's Oral Presentation (most heavily weighed)
  • Poster Appearance/Clarity
  • Poster Organization
  • Poster Content

Please check the Judging Rubric for scoring and category definitions. This should help you in organizing your poster and presentation. Remember that the style of the presentation should be engaging and the content should be interesting. The poster should be well organized and easy to follow. Fonts and images should be clear and interesting to read. Be sure to work with your faculty project advisor on both your presentation and your poster.